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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a full sized tractor with a brush hog would be best but that's in the future for now. Can any zero turn cut that high grass without loading up the mower deck? There are hilly slopes also so I was looking at a Cub Cadet that has front steering but I've read so many bad reviews from folks that know these mowers that I've changed my mind. Any suggestions? I would like to stay under $8000 if possible. I'm in mid-Missouri just north of Columbia.

Johnb
 

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How big is the pasture? I wouldn't worry about grass clogging as much as I would burning or stretching belts. A Zero Turn would not be my mower of choice, here. Check out the Swisher stuff. They have a lot of pull behinds that might work. For 8K, you should be able to find something pretty good that would do a better job than a Zero. Two foot high grass is hay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's about 6 acres? Yes, it's hay and if I knew a farmer that would bale it I'd let him have it, but most wouldn't bother with only 6 acres. So I would pull the swisher behind a garden tractor or ztr?
 

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I'm not saying this is ideal, but it will give you an idea of what is out there.


These can come up to 66" wide. It will take out small trees, too. Up to 3".

You can pull this with an ATV, a Garden Tractor, ( NOT a Lawn Tractor. The rear axle isn't beefy enough. ) or any thing else you can think of.

This can be mounted so that it will mow to the left side, or the right side. Wonderful for getting under trees. If you can get a big enough tractor , with a 60" belly mower, you can mow 180" in one swipe, less over lap, if you get two.
 

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Most utility ATV's would pull something like that. I'm in agreement with pythons. Commercial ZTRs are designed for rapid and efficient work that requires good cut quality. They're not intended for slogging through really tall grass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, we just moved there; in fact, we're not completely moved in. I'll mow it every couple of weeks after I get it mowed down to 3-4". I don't have any equipment for mowing this much land so I want to make a good choice when I do buy. I plan on buying something in a couple weeks.

Johnb
 

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Most mowers, of any kind, will only cut at 4" maximum. Some higher end machines will get up to 6". Most grass wants to be cut at about 3 3/4 inches. No grass should have more than 1/3 third of it's height cut at any time.

Now, this is cutting grass in heaven. If your grass is 24" high, you want to cut it at 16". This is not going to happen. You are going to crash into this field and tear it all up, no matter what you use. But, stay with it and all of a sudden, it won't look bad. But, lots of time. The big Swisher will cut as high as 7". Something to keep in mind.

Make a firm budget and see what you can find. A conversation with a dealer might turn up someone who will want your grass, too. At least, someone who can and will cut it. That will give you time to figure things out.

Where is this, anyway? The reason you want the grass at 4 inches: you will then have a root of 4 inches. The grass blade and the grass root strive to be the same length. More drought resistant. Grass roots go straight down. Weed roots go sideways. Weeds steal the surface water that would usually go to the grass. Weed seeds need sunlight. 4" grass will keep them in the shade and prevent them from growing ( This is theory, again. Lawn Care in Heaven. )

Maybe one of these Experts can help you:

http://www.lawnsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3

Tell them where you are. Maybe one of them is close by and could cut that for you. Keep in mind, these guys are pros and will see you as a customer. That might not be bad, either. However, they might be able to suggest another machine type, or way of doing.

Good luck and keep us up to date. I'm eager to see what you can do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We live in north central Missouri, just north of Columbia, mo. We're trying to find a nearby farmer that will take the hay. I'll make a decision in the next two weeks. This should be the last time it gets two feet high.

Johnb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just found out that TSC or Orscheln farm & home in columbia can't order Swisher equipment anymore. Looks like Swisher is going to website orders only.

Johnb
 

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Ok, if it is only going to be a once only then get some one in to do the first cut.
I know you have just moved in and are probably living on peanut butter sandwiches on stale bread at the moment but it will gig you some breathing space.
There will be several locals who do paddock slashing / mowing and it is good way to meet a local.
Let them know up front it is a once off while you look for a suitable mower.
Most of these service blokes will have a good idea of waht you actually need and also who has the right gear sitting around that they might like to sell to you.
With 6 acres, an old commercial that has been sent out to pasture will do you fine as you will not be flogging it 90 hours a week in season.
Big decks get very expensive and unless you have retired and are looking for a hobby, small decks will take a tad too long.
You might also like to consider getting a real tractor which will come in real handy on acreage, again the local gossip probably knows of a dozen in the area sitting around rusting in the paddocks since being usurped by a newer model.
You can generally find old 20 Hp to 60 Hp open cab tractors going for a song, oft with a few impliments that no longer fit the new 200Hp air conditioned closed cab.
Old tractors, with no electronics & plain old mechanical fuel pumps will go forever and cost next to nothing to run.
The 20 Hp IH with 10' slasher costs about $ 7 / acre to mow down 4' tall tussock grass. It cost $1300 and came with a carry all & pipe ripper.
It has a mate with a finish mower which costs about $ 3 / acre as we run it in 3rd gear. That one was $ 800 because it needed a new head gasket $ 75 in parts. It came with a pile of stuff because the Yuppie city owners bought a brand new $ 45,000 tractor for their week end tax deduction pretend farm.
They both cost a few $ to transport which is not included as Shane had a heavy rigid lisence so we just hired a flat bed & went for a weekend drive.
 
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